I don’t know about the rest of you but I am ready for that first Tuesday in November. I know, there is a lot of October left and I really enjoy the weather, activities and everything else October brings. However, I am really ready for this elections cycle to be over. I am tired of the ads, the phone calls and most of the news reports on the campaigns. This is not one sided either; I am tired of both parties campaigns.
We have started soybean harvest and that has given me plenty of windshield and more importantly dashboard time. The dust is thick on my dash and I have filled it up with thoughts on this election cycle. All of this makes me grumpy. Maybe I am getting old, my kids accuse me of being old and cranky, but I am fed up with what I am seeing and the action or lack thereof in D.C. So, for what it is worth, here are my thoughts for those running for office.
First of all, I can take care of myself, I do not need the government worrying about my health, and how I run my business or live my life. The government should worry about the infrastructure, defense, education and safety. We should all take responsibility for our own lives. I don’t mind paying my own fair share but I disdain supporting those who can care for themselves, but chose not to. I am so thankful for the work ethic my parents instilled in me. Being successful is not something you should be penalized for. Here is an idea, instead of taxing me because the government has to care for me, let me keep my own money and care for myself. I will also see that those in my community who can’t care for themselves, are taken care of.
Most problems are best handled close to home. We know what we need, we will protect our own lands and we will take care of our communities. It is really hard, if not impossible for someone who doesn’t live here to understand my community and needs. Please, D.C. (and for that matter Topeka) let us decide what we need and how much taxes we should pay. We will either improve our community making it a great place to live or it will become a ghost town. Government is much like tomatoes, homegrown are by far better than hot house.
Next, quit making political stands and do what is right. Just because you have aligned yourself with this group or that group does not mean you have to vote that way. Also this idea of your ideas or nothing is wrong. This great nation was built on the ability to discuss issues and come to an agreement. Do what your constituency wants and what is good for them, not what makes the best headlines. Again this is not aimed at any one party but at both. Roll up your sleeves, talk to the other side and solve some problems.
Finally, tell me what your plan is. Do not complain about what the other candidate has not done, done wrong or why they are a bad person. Instead tell me what you will do and I do not mean in terms of vague generalities, have a concrete plan with ideas for action. If you do this I promise to listen and put careful thought into your ideas. I am tired of only getting negative sound bites with no ideas on how to make things better. I also understand that your entire plan may not be implemented, see my above paragraph about compromise. Let’s return to civility.
Whew, sorry to unload on you like that, but the last robo-call I received put me over the top. Again, this is not aimed at any one party; I am disgusted with all the candidates. I am also disappointed with myself and all the rest my fellow voters (and don’t even get me started on the apathetic non-voters). We seem to pay more attention to negative ads, dirt that is dug up and sensational new stories than we do substance and ideas. We need to demand more from our candidates and keep demanding more after they are elected.
I will finish by reminding myself and all of you that despite this ugly, negative campaign, we still live in the best nation on this planet. We enjoy freedoms the rest of the world only dreams about. We live in peace and safety. For the most part we enjoy a good life, food is plentiful, most of us do not go without any of the basic necessities and we enjoy a lot of comforts most of the world cannot fathom. Most of us are blessed beyond our comprehension.
However, we must also continue to nurture and care for this nation. We must continually strive to make it better and that responsibility falls to each of us. We must all become active in the communities and our own governance. If we do this, the message will be sent and our nation will continue to steam on leading the rest of the world with it.